Thursday, December 2, 2010


I was hanging limply from a torture device located somewhere high up.  Bound by my hands and feet to a post that hung at a seventy-degree angle to the ground, my torso was left to bow uncomfortably outwards.  It was obvious to me that I hadn't been fed in a few days or more and a crackling sensation from my shoulders and back, along with searing, nearly-blinding pain, told me I had been whipped again.  Badly.  It seemed I was kept alive by an IV drip stuck into my neck.
After this small self-assessment, I came to wonder what the hell I had done to get myself in this situation.  However, the strain of my brief time awake seemed to be too much, and I sank back into blackness and fevered dreams.

There was a time back, way back, where my body was whole and functional and unscarred, and where I loved people and had people who loved me.  There was a time where festivals were held at this Pyramid Stage that was now my prison and a public demonstration point for anyone that happened by.  Though most people avoided this place after what happened that night at the festival five years ago.
It had been a warm, humid summer night, perfect for the garishly-colored festival that was taking place in the glowing tents sprawled all over a vast field in front of the Stage.  I remember the field had a river running through it, straight as an arrow, that then divided into two paths that ran around the Stage.
But no, these frivolities provided in the tents were not for me.  I was here for the main event, the show that was to be played right where I now hung.
Eventually, the summon for the commoners to gather at the Stage Plaza came, and I moved with the slowly-flowing masses to the Plaza to an aisle seat very near the front.  Then the show began.
It was a flurry of movement and light and color and noise.  Dancers garbed in rainbows galloped across the stage, leaped, and soared, never seeming to return to the ground.  Lights flashed and spun, highlighting the intricate array of knots, twists and turns created by the orderly tangle of limbs and flowing hair.  The music blared, telling all of the story without any of the words, masterfully painting the perception of an expression on the dancers' inert faces.
I don't know what moved me to do it.  Perhaps a beckoning glance from a dancer?  Perhaps I saw something going on behind the curtain that I needed to be a part of?  It still remains a mystery to me, and I have paid dearly for my mistake.  The mistake in question was getting up from my chair, bypassing the guards at the bridge to the Pyramid, climbing the red stone steps, and going backstage to watch the performance from there.
From that vantage point, it became plain to me that there was much less that was actually dazzling or real about this show.  It was only the magic of the night working here, it was only the moonlight sparkling on drops of dew, both of which would disappear with the dawn.  This event, televised to the nation and mandatory to watch, was nothing more than bread and circuses.
Meanwhile, hiding behind a piece of scenery, I was receiving nasty glares from the performers and stage technicians.  What was wrong with this?  Why shouldn't I see what was really going on?  Were they afraid I would tell the other "commoners" what it was they were watching?
Eventually, I was dragged from the scenery, onto the stage to face a shocked crowd.  the dancers were already gone, having exited stage left, but I was certain that they watched from behind the curtain, perhaps smiling at the justice I was about to receive for disrupting their sacred and mighty performance, for becoming aware of the rotting cogs that turned the clock hands.
The device that I was currently strapped into was erected, I was attached to it, and then I was submitted to a televised public whipping while the anthem played in the background.  I blacked out after the first fifteen lashes, but still the agony continued.  When I came to, I was in my present situation, bound, alone, starving, injured, naked, cold...more feral, frightened animal now than human...

Suddenly awake and free of the mind-numbing pain, revitalized by this memory-refreshing episode, I strained at my bonds, opening the gouges on my back.  I gasped as the first hot drops of blood rolled off my torso to splatter on the stone.
My anger-fueled struggling was interrupted by a noise, so slight I might not have heard it if I had been breathing any heavier than I already was.  It was a whimper, coming from behind me.  And it sounded human.
My bonds and injuries prevented me from turning to look, so I had to communicate in the only way I still had energy to: bird whistles. Ii whistled for a while, creating twisting, spiraling songs that echoed off the red rock around me.
Finally, I was able to stir a response in my fellow captive; a weak, four-note response reached my ears.  Yes.  Someone was there.
I spent days recovering enough of my strength to speak, and finally I was able to converse with the boy who had been imprisoned with me.  We formulated a plan of escape.  Another festival was due to happen in two days' time, at this very same place, in commemoration of my imprisonment and to make a spectacle out of the new boy.  That would be our time to run.
By examining our bondings, we found that if we manipulated our hands correctly, they would slide right through the straps.  After that, it would be easy to unhook the straps securing our ankles.  Once free, we would go around the back of the Pyramid and escape into the woods.

The day of the festival came.  Guards checked our securements, clothed us in ragged, ripped-up shirts and worn-through pants and applied make-up to our bodies and faces to make us appear more haggard than we really were.  The lash wounds, of course, were all too real.
People gathered in the field below all throughout the day, though the festival was not as I remembered it.  the color was all gone.
Finally, the moment came.  My partner gave a whistle, and I immediately struggled and soon dropped free of my bonds, shoulders and arms aching as they returned to their normal positions , chains clacking as my feet touched the ground for the first time in five years.  I freed my legs as well, and turned to face the boy at exactly the same time that he flipped around to look at me.
The devilish, tooth-baring grin he gave me seemed almost savage, but familiar, and was exactly how I would have greeted this particular partner in crime.  Moving together, we dashed to the stairway I had climbed to get backstage and raced down it, out into the field where the tents were.
I was intent on running the length of the river, all the way back to it's source, the source that must surely be untouched by this distopia of man -- it must surely be a place in my element where I could have time and nature close to my heart to heal me.  But it seemed my associate had other plans.  He swerved to the right, a steely glint in his eye, heading for the largest tent of them all.  I swerved with him, fearing for him and also for the rest of these brainwashed people, these sheep, that he might unleash his wrath upon.
I didn't see the small, silver grenade in his hand until it was at his fingertips, already beginning an arc through the air that would land it directly on the largest tent -- the President's tent.
He suddenly reversed direction, crashing into me and throwing me into the river.  We sank quickly to the bottom.  As we touched the sandy riverbed, feather light, a muffled blast rolled through the water and was followed by a tide of red that washed over the surface of the river, boiling and exploding again and again.  the turmoil finally subsided and we floated back to the surface to find the field empty.
It was still verdantly green and unblemished...but all the tents had disappeared, along with the hateful Pyramid, and, as we floated along with the water's current, I realized the river was curved.
A feeling of emptiness, of hollowness, of desecration poured into me as I clambered onto the shore and took in our surroundings once again.
The dream faded as we staggered upriver into a bloody red sunset.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It was another fishing dream.  My fishing partner and I, poles in hand, shoved off from the dock in our aluminum rowboat, she rowing out into the lake, I scouting for the Spot.  There's always a Spot where the fish will be and where you'll get a good number of bites, it's just a matter of knowing what a fish likes at certain times of the day.
Now, the matter of my fishing partner is a bit more confusing.  I don't know her, I've never met her, but she's extremely familiar and strikes in me the kind of love that comes after many years of friendship.  It's the kind of thing where you know just exactly how their wrists look or how someone always crosses their right leg over their left when they sit down.  It was how I knew the shape of her eyebrows, the slant of her nose, the quirk that might have been a smile upon her mouth but really signified that she was upset.  It was how I knew that if I were to ask her about it during our tour past the willows on the bank, searching for a Spot, that she would not tell me - only when we returned to the dock and the boat was anchored would we sit side-by-side at the edge, staring into the water, that she would unload her concern unto me.
I, unsettled by all this familiarity for the first time, Spotted poorly.  She trusted my judgement, however, and steered our little craft into a shallow cove that, if it were before sunrise, would be swarming with crappies and bass, but, being the middle of the day, we would have to cast out into deeper waters if we hoped to catch anything bigger than minnows.
We spent the early and fishless afternoon there, reeling in our lures during lunch, tossing them back out afterwards adorned with corn and live bait.  We waited in silence, absorbing the surrounding environment with all our senses, practicing the zen of fishing.  Not a word was passed between us since entering the boat, but there didn't need to be - our understanding of the other's need and want for silence was impeccable.
When the sun had passed it's zenith and was on it's way to the western horizon, we pulled in our lines once again, I hoisted the anchor, she took up the oars, and we made our way back around the lake to the cove whose entrance was draped over by trailing willow tendrils, where our dock lay.  The anchor was planted, ropes were tied, lunchbox, tacklebox, poles and bait-tubs were removed one by one and returned to their proper places in the cabin set back from the lake some way into the trees, and, just as I expected, a silhouetted figure waited for me at the end of the dock, laying on her stomach, trailing her fingers in the shallow water, her brown hair no longer ponytailed and hanging in a glossy curtain over her face.
I sat down next to her and her story began, words tumbling from her and undoing and coloring the silence between us.
She told a tale of two musicians whose music had been unimaginably beautiful together.  Eventually, they split, for reasons unknown, and one of them, Bill, had turned up in her home, allowed to stay by her parents.  No-one knew where the other was.  She, for some reason, thought that I could get these musicians back together if I tried, so I agreed to look into it.
That night, I went to visit Bill.  He was in a spare room in the basement of my fishing partner's cabin, lounging on his bed, strumming a mournful tune on a beautiful, character-saturated acoustic/electric guitar.  He had a British face, if you know what I mean, with thick eyebrows and long, sandy-blonde hair, stubble on his jawline, bad teeth, a crooked nose, overlarge ears and blue-gray eyes.  He was beautiful nonetheless.
I can't quite recall with transpired between us, but eventually we were on the road in a beat-up sky-blue Datsun, guitars in the backseat, him navigating to a hippie-camp somewhere in Colorado (where he guessed his bandmate might be) and me along for the ride, unsure of how I was facilitating anything at all.
After a few hours on the road, we arrived.  The place was an old parking garage, out in the middle of nowhere, tents taking up the parking spaces where cars would usually sit.  We found the bandmate almost immediately, sitting with a large circle of people who were singing along with his strumming.  Bill stood there with tears in his eyes, humming he tune and tapping a foot in 3/4 time.  The bandmate looked up (his name, I later learned, was Charlie), saw Bill standing there crying, and that was all it took.  The strumming and the singing stopped, the guitar was suddenly slung around his shoulder by it's strap and we were walking back to the Datsun, heading back to the cabin at the lakeside.
Bill and Charlie took up residence by the lake as well.  Now when my partner and I go out in our rowboat early in the day, we can expect to see another craft on the water as well, it's two passengers smiling in the silence.  And at night, when bonfires twinkle around the lake and my partner and I hold starlit conferences on the dock, the sound of their sweet music wafts on the wind and mingles with the midnight orchestra.

Monday, November 29, 2010


The dream began happily, at the Renaissance Festival with my dance troupe, back at camp on the Knoll.  We were sitting around, eating dinner (I believe it was also someone's birthday), chatting and preparing for bed.  The rest of the evening was uneventful.
However, early next morning, my father took me away from camp to a large meadow, put a gun in my hands and taught me to shoot.  He said I would need this skill very soon.  I just nodded, a bit confused, and we walked back to camp.  The rest of the day passed in a blur.
When the night came, I found myself again with the gun, running through the hills with my family and my surviving campmates, trying to escape what I could only guess were zombies.  We crested a rise, looked and listened for pursuers, sensed none, and decided to sit down and make this our new camp.  I, however, heard a small rustling in the bushes and crept over to investigate.  As I neared the shivering bush, a black form, shimmering red, leaped out at me and straight for my throat.  I stabbed it with the pen in my hand (which was somehow a poisonous weapon) until it went limp.  I was unscathed, but as I set the body on the ground, what I saw came as more of a shock than contracting the zombie virus.  I had killed my cat.


The day began just like any other day at my former school: enter the building and immediately head to the bottom floor for classes.  Except today was different.  Today, the lights seemed sharper, the colors duller, and when I reached the actual entrance to the school, two armed guards stood outside the doorway.
I met both their gazes and walked into the long main hallway, which was changed.  It was now made entirely out of white tile that gleamed with an antiseptic sheen but reeked of concealed grime.  I began to feel was in the hall and the place was unnaturally quiet.  A pair of teachers were huddled and whispering in a doorway, but when they saw me approaching, they slunk back into the shadows of a darkened classroom.
I was the only student to appear in my first-hour classroom, but others slowly trickled in through the doorway - about five in all.  The teacher never appeared, though another adult did walk in, requesting that we follow him to a different classroom on a lower level.  He said the class had been moved and our other classmates were waiting for us there.  Uneasily, we agreed to come with him.
He led us down dusty flights of stairs, past locked doors, through graveyards of forgotten clutter, deeper and deeper and finally into more of the white-tiled hallways.  He stopped and opened a door to our left, beckoning for us to come inside.  Instead of immediately filing through the door, we peered through, which was fortunate because otherwise we wouldn't have seen the sleeping bodies of our classmates hanging in hammocks from the ceiling.
Naturally, we turned and fled back the way we had come.  The doctors, for that's what they were, yelled after us, but we didn't look back, as caught up in our flight of fear that we were.
Things became confused and we got separated.  I ended up with one other boy, the smart-ass of the class.  We didn't know if the others were going to make it, so we decided to forge on ahead, to keep going up.  We didn't follow the exact same route to the surface, as we emerged from one of the locked doors on the main stairwell, above the guards and only one floor from the exit.
We tip-toed up the stairs, on the watch for any officials, careful for our shadows not to be seen.  When we reached the exit, however, we found that it was guarded as well, and the principal, dressed in a white doctor's suit, was present.  "There they are!" she said, and ordered the guards to carry us back into the school. 
I kicked and struggled in a vain attempt to escape, but as my hope of that faded, so did the dream.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It was very late at night.  I was having computer problems.  Every time I tried to log in to my Gmail account, something would pop up and ask if I wanted to install it and wouldn't go away no matter how hard I clicked the "x," pressed "Ctrl, Alt, Delete," or "Alt, F4."  'Twas frustrating.
So, I went to the only person who I knew could help me: Dad.  He was up late as well with his own computer troubles, but he agreed to help me with mine.  He fixed my 'pooter up and told me to try logging in again.  I did and the same thing happened.  He helped me again and I tried once more, but the virus window popped up once again.
Eventually, we just gave up and I went to sleep.  As I dozed off, I woke up - to soft kitten whiskers tickling my face.

Monday, November 22, 2010


We were in the car, traveling through layers of suburbs and along gravel roads, out into the country.  At the end of the last field (which was somehow familiar from another dream), we slowed as we neared - strangely enough - the dental office.  I supposed it was time for an orthodontist appointment.
When we walked into the lobby, I was surprised to see my father, grandpa, grandma, great-aunts and -uncles and my guitar leaning safely in it's case in a quiet corner of the room.
The guitar reminded me that I had a guitar lesson scheduled for later this evening.  How would we make it back to the city from all the way out here, especially with dentist appointments to take care of first?  My answer came as Dad spoke up: "Oh, 'Green, after your appointment I'll take you to your lesson - I've got the Subaru with me."  I sighed in relief and thanked him.
Eventually, I re-emerged from the ortho room and made my way back to the lobby, only to find that my mother, sister and brother were the only members of my family still in attendance.  When I asked where Dad had gone, the secretary said that he and my grandparents, aunts and uncles had left just two minutes after I had gone with my orthodontist for my check-up.
Frustrated, I walked behind the secretary's counter and into the back room (which I would normally not have access to), which was somehow also the mail room and the record room.  The head dentist was there to greet me.  He asked me what was wrong, listened to my worries, and then suggested that I listen to some of his employees' files (which were all audio-based instead of being on paper).  I started with one who began by talking about her appreciation for mailmen that went by bike, instead of succumbing to the modern-day convenience of a truck or van, especially when navigating the gravel roads that led to this very office.  As I got further into the tape, I realized that I was listening to the secretary's voice, and my previous amount of respect for her (based on her well-rounded sense of humor and her habit of discussing her adventures with her Dungeons and Dragons group with me) began to grow.
I reached the end of the tape.  As it clicked off, I turned to see the head dentist smiling at me.  I smiled in return.  At that moment, the door to the building opened.  I craned my neck to see who it might be, and was a bit disappointed to see it was not my father, but happy to see that it was a mailman.  I listened as he kept up a friendly banter with the secretary, and was surprised and a bit confused when the secretary asked if I could borrow his bike, as I needed to get into town.  To my pleasure, he agreed to wait at the dental practice (the secretary seemed just as pleased as I was) while I went about my business.
I strapped my guitar to my back, thanked them both and headed out the door to the lovely bicycle.  I walked it into town, afraid to ride it on the gravel, lest I fall off and crush my guitar.  The whole way, the secretary's tape was playing in my head, but this time, the words seemed to be altered, as though she were guiding me down the road.
As I neared the town, the size of the gravel pieces underfoot decreased in size, until I was walking on sand, and then on cracked cement strewn with splintered tree trunks, aluminum cans, dirt and leaves and then finally on smooth asphalt.  The voice in my head expressed it's displeasure with the asphalt as I mounted the bike and rode through town, unsure of where I was going.
Eventually, I pulled into a gas station/carwash/restaurant (another setting that originated in a different dream).  But as the front tire of the bike hit the driveway, it transformed and I was suddenly driving my aunt's silver PT Cruiser.  All the suburb folk with their hulking SUVs made fun of me as I steered into a parking space.
I got out of the car, slammed the door behind me, walked up to the nearest lime-green Hummer and ripped a handful of foam off the back of it, holding it up and saying, "See?  They're fake!  They're all fake."  The suburb folk just sneered at me and kept me from the rest of their foam cars.
At this point, I realized that the Cruiser had disappeared and I had no way to get back to the dental practice.  I slumped my shoulders and walked into the restaurant, in search of a suburb family that might not have heard my proclamation and who would therefore be willing to give me a ride.
The occupants of many of the tables that I walked past simply glared at me, but one table seemed to recognize me and started waving and calling my name.  I was startled and approached the table reluctantly, but as I neared it, I saw that the people waving at me were a younger version of my mother and her family.  Suddenly feeling much safer, I went and sat down with them.  Upon doing so, I noticed that my mother's belly was round with pregnancy (What the hell is with all my dreams involving babies?!) and instinctively knew that this baby was myself.  I put my ear to her belly and was able to feel myself, to hear myself within.
I visited with my family for a while, thinking about paradoxes and the consequences my presence here might have on the future.  Eventually, I left and met up with a group of my friends who just so happened to be hobnobbing around at a nearby mall. 
We had fun, walking around, playing on sculptures, but eventually things were reduced to a cuddle puddle (everyone laying on top of everyone else on the floor).
During this downtime, I spotted a character that came off as most peculiar in this setting: Draco Malfoy.  He was walking towards us, sweeping black cloak, slicked-back blonde hair and all, with a broad grin on his face.  My group of friends greeted him warmly and he was absorbed into the cuddle puddle.  Eventually, he had to leave, and I quietly waved goodbye to him as he walked away and met up with none other than Harry Potter.  And then I woke up.

Yeah.  That was a weird one, but the first good night of sleep that I've had in a few days.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


The dream began as a large beige bedsheet billowed out in front of me.  I settled it on the floor and smoothed out the wrinkles, stacking pillows at one end, washcloths, a hot water bottle, towels, blankets and other supplies at the other, weighting the corners down with rocks and finally stepping back to admire my work.  This makeshift bed was positioned on the back second-story porch and was open to the sun, the moon, the stars and the wind.  At the moment, it was early morning, but in the balmy summer weather later tonight, a life would come into the world at this very spot.
My aunt was the one who would be laying on this bed - it was my duty to keep the rest of the children out of the way and to keep a supply of hot water for the bottle when the time came.
The time did come, eventually, at around nine that night.  I boiled water and played boardgames with the kids until it was over, then we were permitted to file quietly onto the porch and taste the sweet night air while gazing upon the sleeping, starlit visage of the baby and the contentment and happiness of the mother.

Monday, November 15, 2010


My dreams last night were muddled and slow-moving.  I didn't really feel rested when I woke up.

In the first dream sequence, I was with my former classmates (I now homeschool) on a walk down to the creek near the school.  I was traveling in a solitary fashion, as is my wont on such trips, when I happened upon a pond-like widening and harbor of the creek, where a narrow, arched bridge crossed the water that moved as sluggishly as my thoughts.  It had grass growing along the top of it.  Standing atop the bridge was a man.  He looked vaguely Arthurian, with a sword at this hip, chain mail gauntlets, a leather helmet and a blue and white overcoat belted over the rest of his mail.  Sometimes when I looked at him, he would appear as a centaur with the same human torso and the silky, chestnut-colored hindquarters of a horse.
We struck up a friendly conversation, I inquiring as to whether or not I was permitted to cross the bridge, he responding that no, the bridge was not mine to be crossed yet, and wasn't my class waiting for me and wondering where I was at the next bridge?  I acknowledged that this was probably the case and turned to leave.  When I reached the undergrowth of the woods surrounding the creek, I turned to wave to the knight/centaur and give him my thanks for his guidance, but was brought up short by the twang of a bowstring, the hiss of an arrow cleaving air, and the thunk and finality of that arrowhead embedding itself in the chest of the centaur, piercing his kindly heard and driving the breath out of him.  I rushed to the centaur and tried to help him, but my efforts were futile and the dream slid into blackness.

Only moments later, the dream returned, but  this time, I was hiking through the woods with my class and kidding around with my classmates as any other teenager would.  In this scenario, I seemed to be both watching myself from across the river and laughing with my friends on the other side.
In due time, we came to the cove and the bridge where the centaur was standing, although neither my teachers or classmates had been able to see it before.  We prepared to cross the bridge, single file, and the centaur spun around and fled into the hilly, sun drenched portion of the woods that dominated the other side of the creek.  After I was across the bridge, I tried to find him, but ended up becoming hopelessly lost in the myriad tunnels of tall berry bushes that snaked along, around and in-between the hills and trees.  I sat, alone, on the sunny crown of a hill, surrounded by berry bushes, unsure of which way to take before the rest of the dream disappeared like smoke.


Upon waking at around 5:30 AM to the first snow of the winter, this is the dream that I was able to recount:
In the beginning of the dream, I was in some sort of hospital, though the architecture of the building hinted more at that of a large, many-roomed lakeside cabin.  I was brought by three nurses to a room with a wide double bed (covered by a faded quilt) for my examinations.  They told me to lay down.  While I did so, a man (the senior doctor) appeared in the doorway.  He was holding a clipboard.
He commenced the examination gently.  While he was probing my stomach, he paused, hands hovering over my belly, eyes widening.  "My dear," said he, "Do you realize that you are with child?"
I don't remember saying anything affirmative or to the contrary, and I don't remember thinking anything was amiss.  It was only when I returned to my room and considered the fact that I was still a virgin that things started to spiral out of my hands. 
The rest of the dream is hazy, but I can recall wondering if I should tell people through one of my newsletters (my immediate family already knew and were quite pleased) and deciding against it.  Sometime afterwards, my boyfriend and his friend were at my house gaming (which is odd, because we don't own any consoles, not counting the computer) and I was having trouble finding the words to tell them, least of all my boyfriend.  I remember biting my lip and looking down at the rip in the knee of his jeans (I've never seen a pair of his jeans ripped before, so this was also odd) and feeling all jumbled up and panicked before I woke up.